Movie Review: Juno

February 18, 2023

What were you busy with when you were 16? Probably school, right? Typical teenage stuff? Maybe. I can't really remember much about my teenage years (maybe because it's so long ago already 🤣), but for sure, I did not have the set of problems the heroine of this movie was experiencing. I was the typical nerd in class, and so I was preoccupied with studies. However, we all know that being a teenager means having raging hormones all over the place, especially for the opposite sex (or whichever your sexual preference maybe, if you already know it at that time). So for a teenage girl, how should she deal with the realization that she is pregnant?

This is the scenario of the plot staged for this film entitled Juno, starring Elliot Page. I first heard about this film in Ang Walang Kwentang Podcast, wherein it was included as one of the titles in that episode's Review of Related Literature (RRL). I heard the two hosts gush about the story, and narrated how they adored that one dialogue scene with the father. I didn't really think much about it, but upon searching on Netflix on what movie I could watch on that Friday night, I somehow landed on this film and added it on My List

The film opens with Juno, finding out that she's very positively pregnant. She decides to continue having the baby. Very much aware that she's young and not ready to be a mother, she chooses to have the baby adopted by a couple. With this kind of plot, I think it's so easy for the story to have lots of drama. But actually I was pleasantly surprised, to realize in retrospect, that the movie was such an easy watch. There was a lot to absorb, especially going into that situation from the perspective of a teenage girl. But hey, Juno is not your typical gal. She's quirky, but blatantly honest. And through her point of view, I was able to absorb these three main takeaways: 
It's helpful to have options, supported by law. I realized how beneficial these laws are. Juno had the liberty to go to the Women Now office or take that other route of giving up the baby for adoption. I know this is a controversial topic if we talk in terms of religion and women rights, but through this movie, I saw how the availability of these services can be beneficial. Also, I recognized how important sex education really is. 

In processing tough decisions, it's invaluable to have people around to support you. In that scene where Juno admits she's pregnant to her family, I was bracing for the explosion of emotions from the dad and the stepmom. But wow I was amazed that no voices were raised during the conversation -- no blame game happened, and they just went straight to discussing the next steps that they needed to do. It was such a healthy discussion. Also, having that best friend who's there with you all the time is a great treasure. Juno is lucky to have that kind of support system around her. 

Age is just a number, and it does not necessarily correspond to a person's maturity level. Exhibit A: Mark Loring, the prospective adoptive father of Juno's child. I viewed him as one immature and irresponsible adult. 🤮Paulie Bleeker had bigger balls than him. 

The story circled around heavy issues, but it was fulfilling to see how things worked out for everyone. Also on a lighter note, it's always a treat to watch old movies because it brings back waves of nostalgia (those CDs and VHS, and that hamburger phone). Also, did I just spot a young Candice King in that classroom? 😆 

I really loved Juno's character. She's just 16, but she proved to have handled this stuff even if it's beyond her maturity level. The film showed how the decisions she made allowed her to continue her life as a normal high school student, in love, kissing her boyfriend after a guitar jamming session. 🎸

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